The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"The Philippines is a logical yet invisible point of reference for unpacking the 'positive effects' of American imperialism repackaged via cultural diplomacy in the arena of institutionalized creative writing." Conchitina Cruz • Kritika Kultura
"While any type of poetry necessarily has an objectively definable form that constitutes the text’s body and border, for [Agha Shahid] Ali the borders are obvious in their rigidity and yet capacious for his artistry, as the boundaries of his exilic imaginary both restrain and free his poetry." Caleb Agnew • Arcade
"However, the poet’s trajectory was also conditioned by the sad reality of a communist country. And an eternal student he was indeed – not just on the account of his curiosity; at most times, he lived from hand to mouth. He was well over fifty and his books had been translated in the West, when he hitchhiked to Greece, because he could simply not afford a train ticket." Anna Arno Versopolis
"[F]inished and unfinished have nothing to do with this. The operable terms for the long poem are activity (praxis or poiesis—the practice or the making) and desire (drive, necessity, Middleton’s 'longing'). It’s the desire or drive to be endlessly making something 'all about everything,' inside poiesis. So will you have enough time to get this 'everything' in? The answer is, by definition, no—you won’t (no matter how old and still productive you manage to be)." Rachel Blau DuPlessis • Arcade
"[Aime] Césaire was self-consciously preoccupied with making something new in art and politics alike, but reading his poetry today (with a stronger sense of the historical specificity of his writing) provides the present with the kind of historical investigation of blackness that [Frantz] Fanon felt was unavailable. But more important, the fact that Césaire did so through the materiality of language indicates blackness’s power for a new “communicability” not rooted in an essentialized idea of race, but in new methods of critiquing the cultural machinery that essentializes. For Césaire, new words hold the promise of new worlds." David B. Hobbs • The Nation
"[C]an we quantify Poet Voice more precisely, and if so, how common is it in this sample of 100 poets?" Marit J. MacArthur, Georgia Zellou, and Lee M. Miller • Journal of Cultural Analytics
"I’m struck now, as I wasn’t when I was six or seven, by the name Google Buns. The founders of Google have a different origin story for their name, but it could be that their deep, dark secret is that they were Enid Blyton fans." Bill Manhire • The Sapling

"An attempt to chart the origins and evolution of modern poetry in Malaysia unearths complex historical processes and cultural interactions that have shaped contemporary Malaysian society. To speak of the writing of poetry in Malaysia, one must grapple with—or at least try to imagine—the essentially pluralist and polyglot nature of its people as well as the changing socio-cultural landscape, where 'the map of a thousand lives will be seen.'" Pauline Fan • Lyrikline
"The latter half of the twentieth century we saw something of a renaissance [among Greek writers, artists, and intellectuals]. But in the twenty-first century all this has dissolved because of the economic and cultural crisis and because of the domination of Germany. Germany has inflicted a second occupation, this time economic and cultural in the negative sense." Nanos Valaoritis • The Rumpus

"What I remember most of all is washing Leo Tolstoy’s ears. The year is 1989, the mornings of revolution, the year when my birth country begins to fall apart. His ears are larger than my head; I am standing on the shoulders of a boy who is standing on the shoulders of another boy." Ilya Kaminsky • New York Times

"[I]t really depends on context—where you’re performing, whose agenda, what’s the audience. We had one concert in Harare gardens in the formative years of MDC. We had this piece Chinja Napken (Change the Nappy) and the whole crowd raised their palms with the MDC symbol, you know? And at the end of the piece, I said: 'This is not about politics, it’s all about hygiene. Change your baby’s diapers when they are soiled.' And everyone says: 'Ah! Iwe mhani unofunga kuti takapusa here?' ('Do you think we are stupid?') And everyone was laughing." Chirikure Chirikure in conversation with Netsayi Chigwendere • Chimurenga Chronic
"It was chosen because someone at the University thought it was faintly inspiring and, knowing nothing about either Kipling or Biko, didn’t think about how jarring the association was. It’s public poetry as a close cousin to those inane posters with a cat hanging off a branch and the words “Hang in there!” written on them. We can only be grateful the university officials didn’t paint “there’s no problem you can’t beat” on the walls." Stephen Bush New Statesman
"The five poems by Charles Mungoshi crawl all over you like ants from the underworld. As you read his poems you have a feeling that you are working your difficult way around boulders, towards some treasure." Memory Chirere on contemporary Zimbabwean poetry • African Writing Online
"But when the publisher’s blurb on the cover of Heavy Years says that Augustus Young the prolific writer of poetry, prose and plays “worked as an epidemiologist for thirty years,” isn’t it a bit like saying Lemuel Gulliver was Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral? At any rate, “Augustus” has disappeared from the pages of Heavy Years: the narrator is nameless, so readers can no longer assume that he and the author are the same. In the gap all kinds of games become possible: the pseudonym as a literary device contributes to the reader’s almost subliminal sense of bewilderment." Marianne Mays Fortnightly Review
"[I]t matters that we have the words to describe the things we are going through. Writing has been important to me because that’s where I go to figure things out or hear what others are saying. So, for all the words that I cannot make to describe what I am going through, I go to other poets and writers to see if they have come up with the words. This helps me understand racism, sexism or the idea that spaces can be gendered. People who are whites have never needed to protect themselves from anything, so in trying to protect ourselves from things we need to name the experiences." Vuyelwa Maluleke in conversation with Gaamangwe Mogawi • Africa in Dialogue
"In the moving poem On Not Having Children, Nick Laird singles out words that have the distinction of not reproducing themselves in rhyme: “and there are words that lack rhymes: silver; month;/ depth; false. It makes them immune to doggerel/ but also to the ballad form”. He has an ear for what language betrays and, in the beautiful Incantation, for its fidelities." Kate Kellaway Observer
"I believe that art has intrinsic value in itself, and that the creation of art should be a necessary feature of any society. I believe, therefore, that the arts should be subsidized if they cannot sustain themselves along the typical market values of capitalist societies. The challenge was always going to be to find the funds to make this possible." Kwame Dawes in conversation with Matthew Daddona • Lit Hub
"As with so much else in this writing, the tenderness can unfold into very precise reflections on, for example, language, and this is case with Malroux. Cole comments on her translation of a phrase from Stevens, ‘In French, there exists no separate word to describe the total, essential , or particular being of a person (the individual self) other than the word for ‘me,’ the objective case of ‘I.’" Ian Pople The Manchester Review
"[S]omething now being called African poetry is not served well by being framed through an ill-defined African orality combined with an equally ill-defined U.S. hip hop tradition (there are, after all, many hip hop traditions)." Keguro Macharia • New Inquiry
"I come from what used to be a country of jungles. Please don’t mind me my forest (clichéd) metaphor: Tradition is the roots of the great tree; it is nurtured by its special situation, condition and make-up. A literature of genuine character and uniqueness will help to enrich world literature. So I think we have to keep the uniqueness all the time and help enrich each other. But of course even a tree changes and evolves, finding its place and special meaning in a changing situation. If it does not find this meaning it will become irrelevant." Muhammad Haji Salleh in conversation with Mohammad A. Quayum • Postcolonial Text
"The writers I admire most are involved in a kind of sensitive and sensual labor, rather than a self-consciously political practice. I worry sometimes that affect drops out of the conversation when we focus on the political aspects of the art. Or maybe the affect becomes flattened out into mere outrage, or melancholia." Srikanth Reddy in conversation with Lucy Ives • Triple Canopy
"John Ashbery wrote that Joan Murray is by definition a poet of 'uncollectedness', of incompleteness. It seems to me that she captures a kind of exquisite isolation–a 'distant majesty'. A 'ridiculous' letter to her friend Helen Anderson ends with, 'It is splendid that you are so unalone'." Amy Key • The Poetry Review
"I was in New York waiting on a platform and it was rush hour, and it was completely silent. People were not saying anything; they were just standing there. Looking at the ground, not doing anything and not talking to each other. If I attempt to give language to this, it is that it all felt apocalyptic. I am looking at this with a deep sense of disappointment." Ladan Osman in conversation with Gaamangwe Joy Mogami • Africa in Dialogue

New poems

Ishion Hutchinson Lyrikline

Isoje Iyi-Eweka Chou African Writing Online

A.E. Stallings New Yorker

Truong Tran OmniVerse

Lo Kwa Mei-En jubilat

Nitoo Das Almost Island

Derek Mahon Gallery (pdf)

Carola Luther Fortnightly Review

Janet Kaplan Dusie

Tony Lopez Poetry

Mark Anthony Cayanan Rogue Agent


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The Page is edited by John McAuliffe, Vincenz Serrano and, since September 2013, Evan Jones at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester. It was founded in October 2004 by Andrew Johnston, who edited it until October 2009.
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